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Discuss Latest WCI Blog Post: Did I Just Retire at Age 52?

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  • Discuss Latest WCI Blog Post: Did I Just Retire at Age 52?

    At the age of 52, I quit my job, and (I think) I'm now in early retirement. Here's what I've done to prepare myself moving forward.

    The post Did I Just Retire at Age 52? appeared first on The White Coat Investor - Investing & Personal Finance for Doctors.



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  • #2
    Thank you for posting. I love reading how he thinks about his bills without a paycheck coming in every month. I’m not retired yet but these are thoughts I worry about (for the future) as well

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    • #3
      Interesting. I do not stress about monthly bills. I keep enough cash to pay them. He is stressing about sequence of returns. I keep cash in the MMF at Vanguard and I recognize that it is losing money to inflation. Deaccumulation is simply a different mind set.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Hatton View Post
        Interesting. I do not stress about monthly bills. I keep enough cash to pay them. He is stressing about sequence of returns. I keep cash in the MMF at Vanguard and I recognize that it is losing money to inflation. Deaccumulation is simply a different mind set.
        How many years worth?

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        • #5
          Deleted

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          • #6
            I can relate a lot to this article. I left my employed job in Sept 2019 with no plan, but was quickly pretty bored when winter hit. I knew as a single person in my 30s it was socially untenable to just say I was retired (and I didn’t want to explain I could afford not to work because I’d saved a truckload of money). The author doesn’t mention a spouse. I pivoted into locum tenens and sold my house in 2020, which was an absolutely disastrous decision in 20/20 hindsight. Now I stress out a lot about housing costs, and my vehicle is about the same age. I’m hoping to eventually transition out of medicine. I think it’s important to have something to keep your mind in the game. There’s no way clinical medicine can do that for me for another 30+ years.

            I don’t see how anyone can keep $250,000 in cash when we have 8.5% inflation raging, but to each their own. The author would be well served by reading ERN’s SWR series.

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            • #7
              This might be a worthy poll but I'd be very interested in what people here do to mitigate SORR. The poster seems to have the mindset that he'd like ~3yrs of cash. He doesn't address what his AA is. With 3 years' cash I believe that gives him leeway to have a more aggressive AA (80%+ in equities). I also wonder if people on the forum do more than 1 thing to mitigate against SORR (3 years' cash AND AA is 60/40)

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              • #8
                Originally posted by childay View Post

                How many years worth?
                3 or 4

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by JBME View Post
                  This might be a worthy poll but I'd be very interested in what people here do to mitigate SORR. The poster seems to have the mindset that he'd like ~3yrs of cash. He doesn't address what his AA is. With 3 years' cash I believe that gives him leeway to have a more aggressive AA (80%+ in equities). I also wonder if people on the forum do more than 1 thing to mitigate against SORR (3 years' cash AND AA is 60/40)
                  I keep cash about 3-4 years worth. I have actually been buying equities lately. I am 70/30 stocks to fixed income. My net worth has increased by about 3 million since I retired.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Hatton View Post

                    I keep cash about 3-4 years worth. I have actually been buying equities lately. I am 70/30 stocks to fixed income. My net worth has increased by about 3 million since I retired.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by JBME View Post
                      This might be a worthy poll but I'd be very interested in what people here do to mitigate SORR. The poster seems to have the mindset that he'd like ~3yrs of cash. He doesn't address what his AA is. With 3 years' cash I believe that gives him leeway to have a more aggressive AA (80%+ in equities). I also wonder if people on the forum do more than 1 thing to mitigate against SORR (3 years' cash AND AA is 60/40)
                      Cash bucket is a valid approach. I'm planning on 2-3 years. Haven't decided. The AA solution (e.g., 60/40) is somewhat age dependent. Probably fine for a traditional retirement age range, but for early retirees, need to have something more like 80/20 or 90/10. Big ERN says 100% equities works for him.

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                      • #12
                        fwiw when I first found all of this about 5 years ago my thinking was I'd go from 90/10 on a glidepath to be 60/40 at time of retirement. For the last year or so I've switched to aim to have 3-4 yrs expenses in cash, 6-7 yrs expenses in bonds and the rest in equities. I wouldn't have an AA anymore...it'd be this bucket approach instead so if the market is on a tear and I have $5m by retirement and my expenses are $100k/yr then my AA is 80/20. But if I only saved $4m and expenses are the same then my AA is 75/25. This allows for exactly what the poster's approach is....as long as the market isn't more than 5% below peak, I'd just move some equities over to cash/bonds to make sure I have my expenses in line.

                        As we get older keeping track of all of this gets harder if mental faculties decline. I wonder which approach...bucket or AA...is harder to keep ongoing

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                        • #13
                          At 52 I could not have thought of suddenly quitting and staying at home. Even though I might have been FI, it probably was geared towards a lean FI. There was issue about health insurance for myself, spouse and child. And education expenses. Luckily the next 10 years were years with good earnings and all the concerns I have were addressed. Also I was not in academia with a toxic work culture but a solo physician.

                          As to AA, I do not have any bonds nor plan to have any. However I do have individual stocks that pays dividends and also index funds that gives out short and long term capital gains. Normally these are reinvested but I could always stop it and use the money for expenses. I have invested in businesses that pay out distributions. I also plan to keep 200-250K in cash. More than enough for retirement expenses.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by JBME View Post
                            As we get older keeping track of all of this gets harder if mental faculties decline. I wonder which approach...bucket or AA...is harder to keep ongoing
                            I think at some point a fee only advisor would be good to prevent potentially extremely costly mistakes for your estate. The question perhaps is when that point is. I see a not all that small number of early onset cognitive decline. Not enough discussion on this. God forbid you bring it up on bogleheads the old dudes get real defensive real quick

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                            • #15
                              This is a timely article in conjunction to the thread I just posted. OPs, circs was the unplanned 'retirement' and uncertainties of both financial and 'identity' playing a hard part of which we strive for -- retirement.

                              In his case, since uncertain if return to career job -- ED doc inbetween positions at this time is most accurate. Can say Retired Doc 'for the moment' too which I would probably use in his case.

                              This does play into the hand I spoke of beyond the financials --- what to do in retirement? This needs to be integral to one's IPS in as much as the financial goals and steps with the same what-if scenarios and options in case the glidepath becomes much more abrupt whether from health/mental/pandemic reasons.

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